Mark Leftly: It's vital we have a plan for when this mess ends
Outlook Of course, the major reason why many shops are struggling is that we all have to be much more discerning over our spending. Certainly, I've become more of a beer snob in recent years, which I hope in no small measure contributed to Heineken's poor full-year results in Europe.
What worries me more and more is society's breaking point. The Bank of England's Governor Sir Mervyn King's warning that we face another three years of huge economic woe breaks the soul. No matter how much debt we cut, how much we save, how much we hope, all of us seem to continually have to adjust to a world that gets financially tougher one year to the next.
There is a limit, and social unrest is almost inevitable. I remember my parents' generation struggling through the 1980s, unemployment everywhere – and we didn't have it that bad, given that I hark from a middle-class area on the South Coast. The question that really needs answering is: have we actually come up with a proper plan to get people back to work when the economy improves, whenever that may be?
Crime and Punishment's author Fyodor Dostoyevsky famously said that "the degree of civilisation in a society can be judged by entering its prisons". The degree of civilisation in Britain should not be judged by how we deal with the problems we face right now, but how we restore the finances and living arrangements of people struggling even when we get out of this mess, hopefully much sooner than three years from now.
- 1 I've been called an abusive and dangerous parent, when all I did was listen to my transgender child
- 2 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 3 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 4 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 5 UK weather: Britain braced for snow to replace sun as arctic air mass moves in
Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
Russian hack of President Obama's emails worse than previously admitted
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
UK weather: Britain braced for snow to replace sun as arctic air mass moves in
Nepal earthquake: US Pastor Tony Miano sparks outcry by suggesting Nepalis should convert and not rebuild their 'pagan shrines'
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
iJobs Money & Business
£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...
£50000 - £55000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Business Analyst - Financial Service...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: At SThree, we like to be differe...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Did you know? SThree is the o...